Yehuda Poliker with bouzouki, 2007
December 25, 1950 |
Kiryat Haim, Israel
|Genres||Combines rock with Greek and other Mediterranean musical styles|
|Occupation(s)||Singer, songwriter, musician, and painter|
Poliker was born in Kiryat Haim, a suburb of Haifa, Israel, as Leonidas Polikar (Greek: Λεωνίδας Πολικάρης) to a Greek Jewish family. Poliker is the son of Holocaust survivors deported to Auschwitz from Thessaloniki, Greece.
Benzene Band & Solo Career (80's)
Benzene released two albums 24 shaot (24 Hours) and Mishmeret Layla (Night Watch), and were a great success with hit singles like: Hofshi Ze legamre Levad (Free is Totally Alone), Geshem (Rain) and many more. After Benzene broke up, Poliker turned to a solo career and in 1985 he released his first solo album Einaim Shely (My Eyes). All the songs on the album were well-known songs in Greek literally translated into Hebrew. In 1986 Poliker released his second solo album Holem Behakitz (Daydreamer), with songs not included in Einaim Shely In 1988, Poliker released his third album, Efer Ve Avak (Dust and Ashes) which dealt mostly with the children of Holocaust survivors. The album was a great success and sold more than 70,000 copies, to this day the album is considered by many to be one of the most respected albums created in Israel.
Solo Career (90's)
In the late 1990s Poliker Released his fourth album, Pahot Aval Od Koev (Less but Still Painful). The album was a great commercial success and sold over 140,000 copies. The album became the most successful album of Poliker. Following the success of Pahot Aval Koev Poliker went on tour and began working on a new album, but they were interrupted because of a family tragedy. Poliker shelved the album he worked on and instead started to work on an instrumental album and in 1992 released the album Leinecha Hakhulot (For Your Blue Eyes). In 1995 Poliker released his sixth album Hayeled Sh'Beha (The Child Within You). The album was a double album with many hits also written by Poliker himself: Ani Roze Gam (I Want Too), Ma Yihye Yihye (What Will Be, Will Be) & Names Ba Geshem (Disolved in the Rain). The album was a great success, as well as the ensuing concert tour, which was documented on the double live album Hoffaa Haya Be Casarea (Live in Caesarea).
2000 – Now
In 2001, Poliker released the album Eih Korim La Ahava Sheli? (What Is My Love Called?) The album's title song, written by Poliker with Yaakov Gilad, won Song of the Year Golden Feather Awards ACUM (Society of composers, authors and publishers) Rights Society in 2002.
In 2003, Poliker released his first compilation album; Hameitav (The Best). Along with his original songs and Benzene Band, the album also included a number of new songs. In 2007, Poliker released the album Hummus Sapiens, in collaboration with the Greek poet Manolis Rasoulis. The album came out in Greece first and then in Israel. In 2010, Poliker went out on a tour under the name Shirim Sh'helhanti Leaherim (Songs I Wrote for Others). The show, which began as a one-time event at The Piano Festival, featured Poliker's first songs composed for other singers such as: Yossi Banai, Riki Gal and Arik Einstein . In March 2010, Poliker released the album Ahava Al Tnai (Conditional Love). The first single from it, Shlosha Yamim (Three Days), written by Poliker and Jacob Gilad, came out in February 2008 and reached the top of charts in Israel. In 2011, Poliker released the album Kol Davar Mazkir Li (Everything Reminds Me). Like Einaim Sheli, this album also contains well-known songs in Greek literally translated to Hebrew. The title track of the album, Kol Davar Mazkir Li Poliker sings with Haris Alexiou in Greek and there is also a Hebrew version. Two weeks after its release the album reached gold record status. In summer 2012, Poliker released a unique project called Jacko and Yehudah Poliker. This album contains a rare recording of Yehuda's parents before their death singing Thessaloniki Jewish songs pre- World War II in Greek and ladino. In 2012 Poliker won the ACUM (Society of composers, authors and publishers) Lifetime Achievement Award In spring 2014, Poliker released the album Muzeon Ha Halomot (The Museum of Dreams), an album that connects the guitar, bouzouki and all the styles that characterize Poliker from his days with Benzene Band to present. The album reached gold record status within two weeks, and soon followed by Poliker's tour with Muzeon Ha Halomot.
In September 2014 Poliker was awarded the prestigious Phoenix Gold Medal by the President of Greece in recognition of empowerment of Greek culture in Israel.
Poliker's father, Jacko, tells the story of his escape from Auschwitz in the 1988 film Because of That War (Biglal Hamilhamah Hahi), which features music by his son. The film includes interviews with Yehuda Poliker and Ya'akov Gilad, whose Polish Jewish parents also survived Auschwitz concentration camp.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Yehuda Poliker.|
- A Page about Yehuda Poliker (French)
- Because of That War (1988). Directed by Orna Ben-Dor Niv
- Watch Yehuda Poliker singing with Haris Alexiou at a concert in Israel (1991) on YouTube